Terry Willard, PhD, CIH, AHG

Medicinal Mushrooms: The Forgotten Kingdom


HerbFest 2000

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In this multimedia talk, Terry Willard examines some of the most popular medicinal mushrooms available on the market. From the vision-producing mushrooms the shamans used in their initiation rites to the mushroom hunter of northern Europe, mushrooms have always held a great fascination for man. Many a fairy tale has included members of the Fungi Kingdom as part of the backdrop. There are more than 100,000 different species of fungi, some beneficial to man, some not. Some are edible, some poisonous, some produce visions and some have strong medicinal properties. In the Western world, medicinal mushrooms have not played as much a central role as they have in Asian culture. We do, however, find references in Western culture for medicinal mushrooms as far back as 455 B.C. with Hippocrates' use of them. Fungi are also mentioned in the works of Pliny ( 23-78 AD), Dioscorides (55 AD) and Galen (130 - 200 AD), showing that the ancients were quite familiar with their uses. Even in the present day, after the discovery in 1928 of penicillin (a fungus), we find them playing a prominent role, making up a whole class of antibiotic medicines. For more details on this presentation go to the following URL: http://www.frontiercoop.com/Frontier/HerbFest/2000Seminar/2000Mushrooms.html